Our friends over at Digital Foundry have been stomping around the show floor at Gamescom in search of tasty news, but they perhaps weren't expecting to find one of the Switch's biggest upcoming releases hiding in plain sight.
Bethesda hasn't made a big song and dance about it, but the forthcoming Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is being demoed at the show, and the good news is that the port appears to be progressing very well indeed.
According to Digital Foundry, the game runs at a solid 30fps in handheld mode, outclassing the performance seen on last-gen systems, like the PS3 and Xbox 360:
On the handheld screen, the title looked like it was rendering at native 720p, and while graphics comparisons aren't really viable on the showfloor - especially on mobile screens - the Switch version of Skyrim delivered an accomplished mobile experience. It's the consistency in performance that's really impressive, especially compared to the last-gen versions of the game. The wobbly frame-rates with hitching and stuttering during traversal and combat simply aren't an issue on Switch: that 30 frames per second is as close to locked as you're going to get.
While the Switch's GPU - especially in its more modestly clocked mobile mode - can't really match the latest generation of consoles, the system does have the benefit of tapping into far more available memory than the last-gen versions of the game. On top of that, instant access to assets via flash memory as opposed to mechanical hard drives (or DVDs) should definitely help the title's streaming systems.
With only a 15 minute play session the guys at Digital Foundry weren't able to tell if the Switch version is based on the updated Special Edition of the game, but they did say that performance-wise, it feels very close to the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 iterations - which were, of course, the Special Edition.
The caveat to all this good news is that the demo units were connected to debug kits, which apparently boost performance in handheld mode:
The handheld unit looked very much like retail Switch hardware, but it was connected via a meaty-looking cable harness leading into a closed box, and we're told by Switch developers that debug units can run the full-fat GPU clocks in what otherwise looks like the handheld mode. Also, we should remember that the tablet screen can be forgiving in terms of hiding cutbacks and compromises - and we didn't get to see Skyrim running docked.
Even so, it's encouraging to learn that the port is shaping up well, and being able to play a game like Skyrim in the palm of your hand is a pretty incredible proposition, even if the title is getting a bit long in the tooth these days.
I've been watching some of the videos from Gamescom and it does look very impressive. Mod support, I hear would be important to have, but there's been no word, with some saying, it probably won't have it. Let's see.
Edit: I've heard rumours that the game will release on 23rd October.
Edit again: Amazon UK have it listed for that date as well.
inb4 "Skyrim on Skyrim" is corrected to "Skyrim on Switch."
"Digital Foundry Comes Away Very Impressed With Skyrim On Skyrim"
Yo dawg, I heard you like Skyrim, so we put Skyrim in your Skyrim
I think anyone would be impressed if you could play skyrim on skyrim
Is it not Switch on Skyrim?
Damien, it should be "Skyrim on Microwave".
So should we be expecting some Skyrim-ception?
If anyone is wondering who would play Skyrim on Switch. ME! I would! I have never played it.
Yo Dawg, I herd you like Skyrim, so I put a Skyrim in your Skyrim so you can play Skyrim while you play Skyrim.
@Elanczewski No it should be "Skyrim on Toast".
1/10 - too much skyrim - IGN
I was way too late to the Skyrim on Skyrim party. Comments did not disappoint!
Edited: Grammar and spelling.
I'll buy it for my skyrim
How do you take your skyrim?
Can't wait to pick this up. Skyrim will be the first format I've played Skyrim on. Hopefully they've optimised it to run well on Skyrim.
@JTMnM I knew I shouldn't have downed that last coffee so quickly
gimmie a release date so I can date this on release date
Insane in the Skyrimbrane!
It's got all DLC, motion controls, Nintendo content, solid performance... It's basically the best possible version you could have on the system. I think continuing to debate whether it's the special edition misses the point completely.
Skyrim on the rocks...
...or "one Skyrim - double strong, double sweet."
These Skyrim comments make no sense!
@Pahvi That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
@RadioShadow The original title said "Skyrim on Skyrim" because I typed it in a hurry. Hilarity ensued - but alas! - for only a brief moment.
Now, the joke is only relevant to the select few who read the story quick enough. They are truly blessed.
I put so many hours into this game on PC, but I cannot wait to play this on Switch, especially as I can play it anywhere I want. Just to see games like this shows the Switch is in a lot better position than the Wii U.
Totally getting this! It's been on my radar since November last year. I played a bit on PS3 last year and liked it but never went back. So can't wait to start all over again on the switch.
Day one for me! Any word on a release date yet???
I've never played Skyrim.
Sounds like a good time to start.
Its the portability of the system that draws me, Breath of the Wild proved to me how good it is to have quick exploration sessions wherever you may be.
And avoid those 19hr weekend sessions that then make you feel bad.
Remember when I promised myself I would never buy another version of Skyrim for as long as I live? I lied.
@whitespy12 completing a special dungeon wherein will unlock Fallout 4 for your Dovahkin to play as well.
"outclassing the performance seen on last-gen systems, like the PS3 and Xbox 360"
Remember when we were giddy about this kind of stuff in regards to Wii U?
@gatorboi352 Not to mention bragging about outclassing 12 and 11 year old consoles isn't really anything special.
Never played it. It sounds like this is a great version of the game. Will probably pick it up.
@gatorboi352 There are still people who think the Switch is only as powerful as a PS3.
I sure hope it can outperform PS3 and 360 performance at this point. I'd hardly call a 15 minute controlled demo running at full power a good indication of how it'll actually perform though.
Nice comments work folks. Applause.
Not surprised by the great news. Nintendo showed this off as a big release during the Switch debut and had faith in this release from the get go.
Glad to hear this sounds like a good port. I think this has got a fair bit riding on it.
Switch should be able to run PS3 games effortlessly. If this does well that combination of easy development and a willing audience could open the doors to a lot of PS3/360 ports. A lot of current-gen games may be beyond it but portable GTA, Batman, MGS, maybe even the first RDR could fill out the library nicely.
You can clearly see it's based on the latest Special Edition.
I played Skyrim for a crazy amount of hours on both PC and XBOX360 and again quite a few hours with the Special Edition on PS4 and PC.
The textures and effects in the Switch Demo definitely look like the Special Edition.
@Menchi187 @gatorboi352 You don't find it impressive that a portable console is now capable of comfortably surpassing last-generation home consoles?
Were you guys around during the Game Boy era? Sheesh.
Never got round to buying or playing Skyrim on PS3/PS4 looking like another day one purchase.
I'll be picking it up for sure, i never went back after modding it on pc and accidentally deleting my save data when it first released.
The fact that the game is still receiving new versions makes me feel like im forever young. Keep it up
@Damo No, I don't and yeah, I was.
@Menchi187 Talk about hard to please.
I am very excited for this, from everything that has come out it would seem that the switch version is the special edition that came out on xb1, ps4, but with some tweaking in the graphics and performance department to run on switch. I'm very happy because it would have been a shame if we got a port of the 360/ps3 original. That pretty much sums up what the switch can do. It should be able to run any last gen game, and with proper tweeking and optimization can hopefully run certain current gen games. Which is honestly all I can ask for after the Wii U being so far behind the competition.
I never played Skyrim before, sometimes it feels like I'm the only one who hasn't. LOL. But I'm very excited for this. I have it pre-ordered with Amazon Prime discount. Given that the Switch is portable, it means I'll have more of an opportunity to actually delve in to this game rather than have it on PS4, which I rarely play because I'm usually busy with life. The Switch definitely suits my needs in this regard so I can play on my commute to/from work!
Loved Skyrim on the Xbox 360 and until Persona 5 it was the longest I'd spent on a game.
I doubt I'd ever get this on the switch but very interested to see if this version has Dragons flying backwards and dropping out the sky too.
Of course Skyrim runs well on Switch. Wii U is faster than PS3 and Switch is 3 x faster than Wii U... duh!
Skyrim running well in PSVR is more impressive to me.
Can't wait to FUS RO DAH some fools on the go.
@itslukec yep me too
But if they're charging full price for it I'll surely wait for a price drop
" that 30 frames per second is as close to locked as you're going to get."
Did somebody just say that about a Bethesda game? For eel?
@whitespy12 Extra props for using a meme that was big when Skyrim was released
Day one purchase for me this will be my first play through, looks awesome .
I've never played an Elder Scrolls game ever, so this one I patently ignore all the whining how it's just Skyrim. To me that basically comes back with the retort ...and? so?
I liked Zelda, this has some similarities to it and could keep me glued a long time on my Switch so it's very much a purchase for me. I have considered buying up the prequel via GOG but haven't the time or care to commit there with this months away.
The fact you have these guys drooling over it says a lot as they're pretty uptight about stuff. It also goes to show there's some power under the capabilities of the Switch when you have them talking up this likely port of the SE version while knocking the hell out of the PS3/360 non-SE one for all sorts of FPS and other problems the Switch doesn't have happening. It chips into that mentality that it's a total low power backwater.
It goes to show that the hardware with the licensed tools it can use (Unreal, Unity, etc) it can handle a modern title with just a scaling back in model size/detail some given the lesser polygonal pushing power it has while still doing an epic job within it's confines. This fairly well rebukes SE's halfassery with Dragon Quest Heroes 1+2 making people think the Switch was an incapable dog. Nah, it was an incapable company bungling a conversion.
This will be my first purchase and first playthrough of Skyrim. I think I'll have a better experience than people who have played it already.
Pass it on Xbox 360, day one for me on Switch . Cant wait to play it at my job. Warrior/mage I will be there!!!
Really loving all the comments from people who have never played the game before and are interested in trying it for the first time. You all are in for a ride. Skyrim still stands as one of the best open world Western RPGs, and has incredible replay value. There aren't many games that even come close to creating a world that just feels so alive.
So...how bad will the ram issue be for the Switch?
Well thank god a game on the new 2017 Nintendo console can outclass a game released on consoles that launched in 2005 and 2006!
Pathetic that that's an enough of issue that it has to be a talking point in an article (not a diss on NL, to be clear).
I never played Skyrim so this will be my first crack at it. I'm excited.
@Menchi187 yeah pretty much my point
Definitely picking it up, though possibly not until next year
@Damo you are correct that for all intents and purposes, the Switch is a portable. Unfortunately, Nintendo (the same tone deaf company behind the NES and SNES classic debacles) is hell bent on positioning the Switch as the Wii U successor and their newest Home console. It will be held to such standards.
Given how many shoddy ports there are on various systems (Arkham Collection, anyone?) the fact that in this case the devs have at least made sure of a high quality port is worth commenting on. What are they supposed to do, ignore it?
It's both. It's a portable and a home Console. It's a very powerful portable and a Home Console less powerful than the competition. The latter doesn't detract from the former.
I'm genuinely starting to worry that people still, several months after the machine was released, are struggling to grasp this most basic of facts.
The Switch can't even run Daggerfall at 60fps or Heroes of Might and Magic 2 or Tetris.
Surely i got yas all there ey, ey, ey.
(I feel so clever, they didn't pick my trollin')
@electrolite77 No no no, I'm not talking sh** about Digital Foundry or NL, I'm saying that the reality of them having to make note of such a statement is pathetic in 2017. I love Digital Foundry! I'm just brand-butt hurt by Nintendo lately.
First switch game I preordered (well after Zelda)...
I'm taking this with a grain of salt. Debug unit meaning the Switch was operating with power it normally doesn't have? Or it was simiulating a docked experience? I'd like some clarification. Because if they are just boosting the hardware specs for the demo version to pull wool over our eyes a lot of people will be disappointed
Why? I've got a portable Console that I can also plug into my TV that can play PS3 games better than the PS3. That's worth noting.
This will be my first full-priced Skyrim. Mind you, I spent nearly 100 hours on my $6.99 version. I'm no PC Master Race, but boy Steam sales are lovely. Odd that I spent more time on Zelda in two weeks than Skyrim in a summer hahah I guess it's time to try a different class.
I'm one of the few who has never played Skyrim, and it'll be the second Elder Scrolls title that I touch (the first being the first couple hours of Oblivion on my cousin's 360 back in the day). I'm very excited to play this game for the first time on the Switch; I've never owned a console before that hosted the game, and my laptop at the time wasn't able to handle it. Better late than never, right?
I put in so many hours on my PS3, but he news this is a quality port had me really thinking about picking this up. It would replace BOTW as my go to" play my Switch to pass time while I'm somewhere I REALLY don't want to be " game.
The best part of immersive games like those are the ability to genuinely tune out those annoyingly fake convos that strangers seems to want to have with me in the doctor/dentist office.
Yes, the jerk is strong with this one I have been told daily 😏
@GrailUK I'm gonna buy it for Switch and I already have 260+ hours on PC, another 100 or so on Xbox 360, and 20ish on PS3. No other game I've played in history is better for just losing myself in and relaxing. I just really enjoy being a part of the world of Skyrim, and now I'm literally going to be able to take that world with me anywhere I go. I cannot wait. Seriously, every day I wake up and don't see a release date is another day I sigh and hope for the next. This is the most news I've seen on it since E3, so it's something. But I want that date. Soon.
@DragonbornRito Aw mate, that is high praise indeed. Looking forward to it even more now
I hope it does well. I put about 50 hours into the PC version before I got bored of dominating everything. Maybe I can be convinced to come back for the Switch version but we'll see.
This might be my most anticipated game of the year, passed it up before but now cannot wait to get stuck in.
I'm happy for the Nintendo only owners to experience this game
@Snakesglowcaps I think video said that some were on some retail switches and then there were also a few debug switches? If there was a mix of switches then they wouldn't be able to hide anything performance-wise. Besides the switches would probably overheat if they were doing anything extra fancy for the demo..
I won't be pre-ordering, just because I don't have the same confidence that I put in Nintendo for stable software, but this looks very promising. Assuming the press is good at release, I'll be picking up a copy. Haven't played the game since 2011, and I couldn't pass up a handheld version of one of the last generation's best RPGs.
I am going to wear this out , yo.
Errr, yeah no desire of playing the 6 year old version. If not the enhanced version and they want 59 dollars for it they lost their minds.
Wow, I had completely forgotten about this. Man, I'd better clear out some time to get into this again.
@Tyranexx The great thing about the TES series is so long as you have something that can run it, you can jump in anytime. It is a series that you make your own. I remember I first got into Oblivion after a friend of mine described what he did as a hunter. Yep, he didn't do any of the quests but enjoyed the wold size and combat enough that he sunk several hours into hunting animals and selling the meat. Hilariously enough even though I play the game (I've sunk well over 1000 hours into Skyrim alone....Oblivion was somewhere around 500) my character has a "life" and earns a living as a weapons and armor smith. And the world is big and varied enough that you can do that. I've restarted Skryim several times (bought it at launch and mine is modded to death- mostly to make it look better and give my character more armor to craft) and I've yet to complete every single quest.
In TES games there is so much to do and little touches like the books or random snipits of conversations even with enemy mook characters or random objects in the environment that tell stories of their own (like finding a campsite with a skeleton and a nearby journal with a person stating they were waiting for their lover....not a quest, no reason for it to be there, you can miss it if you don't stumble across it but it is there to be found). I'm honestly excited for you. Skyrim is one of those games that is greater than the sum of its parts.
I'm excited for you really.
@Kimyonaakuma they stated they were retail units connected to debug units that beef the hardware. I'm not too worried but it seems odd that they'd not just use the basic Switch. And that we haven't seen docked footage of this or FIFA. Makes me think developers are struggling with the resolution/GPU outputs etc when switching(ha) from docked to portable. I want to see Skyrim docked to alleviate my concerns
Will be purchasing
Portable Skyrim here I come.
I have a very important question. Does Skyrim feature the Morrowind music at all, or is it a totally new score?
I wonder if it fixes all the bugs that you need mods to fix currently?
Definite buy, loved Oblivion but still never played this yet. Always wanted to but had moved solely Nintendo from being cross-platform when it first came out.
Looks much like its the same as the recent remastered version on the other platforms.Got to give Bethesda a thumbs up for doing a good job and not just a half arse effort. Looks to be worth a purchase for me
All I want to know is if this version will include mod support. I really don't understand how we STILL don't have any details regarding that. We still don't have clarification that it's the Special Edition either (other than some fans swearing to Talos that it is).
But I am pretty excited regardless of those details. I put a lot of effort into getting a portable version of Skyrim running back in the day so this is like a dream come true.
@gatorboi352 The only standard that matters is those of its consumers. While you continue to have imaginary debates in your mind about Nintendo being held accountable for marketing it as the successor to the Wii U instead of as a portable, consumers are enjoying it in the way that they see fit, proving its effectiveness as a hybrid device. Some use it only as a portable, some use it only docked (that's me), and some use it both ways. That versatility is at the core of its appeal, and constructing straw men isn't going to change that.
@gatorboi352 Why shouldn't Nintendo position Switch as their Wii-U successor and main home console? That's exactly what it is. What is the definition of a home console? Do lower specs than competitors and portability somehow disqualify Switch?
The Switch swings both ways, it doesn't have to choose a side.
@GrailUK It's a new score for most of the game. You can travel to Soltheim though, and that area has several Morrowind remixes I believe. Couldn't tell you specific titles of the tracks though.
Really was hoping for a port of this on the WiiU back when it launched. Being a parent, the Gamepad would have afforded me the time to play through more than the 6 hours I did on the 360 at my friend's. Better late than never I guess.
@Ryu_Niiyama: Precisely! I've read that there are so many ways to play the game that the possibilities are insane. I watched the introduction sequence ages ago (purposely haven't recently since I want to keep some details foggy) and absolutely enjoyed it.
The only thing I'm a bit concerned about is keeping track of all the lore.
Never played Skyrim before (the last non Nintendo Console I owned was a PS2), so very much looking forward to this.
Impressions from other Gamescom vids on YouTube are very positive for the Switch.
I also see a PSVR preview. It that version of Skyrim (from what I saw), you don't actually move around by walking / running. You are always standing still but move by teleportation. Not sure how that would play, but it looked complicated
@Tyranexx Ah don't worry while the games take place in the same world/universe they are often several years if not centuries apart so it isn't interconnected story so much as it is history. The game doesn't beat you over the head with references. There are nods and easter eggs sure, but nothing that you will be upset you didn't play the other games over.
Didn't want to derail the avatar thread but I will say after your comment I'm wondering if there are several other "fashion" choices for Mimikyu (its gonna eat someone's soul...I just know it).
It's funny. I've owned Skyrim on PS3 and 360 and more recently on PS4. One of the biggest reasons I've never even come close to finishing it (besides the fact the game was just flat-out broken on PS3) is time. I simply don't have the time it takes to sit on my couch and log 100 or more hours into the game. And while the Switch version falls somewhere in-between the PS3/360 versions and PS4/XB1 visually, what appeals to me so much about the Switch version is now I can play it anywhere, anytime! So that means in bed, or on the couch while the hockey or baseball game is on in the background (where normally on other systems I can't play games while watching sports), in the hotel room or even on the [removed] if I'm so inclined lol! I'm seriously considering buying the game yet again...
@SleeplessKnight Please mind your language - Octane
@Ryu_Niiyama: That's reassuring. I don't want to waste too much time looking up lore unless it's necessary. From what little I do know, the series seems to be quite rich in history.
I wonder what Mimikyu's next fashion choice will be....Kirby maybe? The series did just turn 25.
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